Storage Auctions

Ebay vs. Flea Market

Offline Cobia

  • ******
  • 1144
    • View Profile
Ebay vs. Flea Market
« on: November 22, 2011, 07:34:31 AM »
This is an analysis comparing a recent sale of two identical items, selling one at flea market, the other on Ebay. I do not suppose this is the only way to look at sales or the best way to look at sales, I just think it is interesting information.

Item: Vintage Hot Wheels toy

Flea Market: sold for $1.00

time spent: sorting and putting in tote = 30 seconds, sales transaction = 30 seconds. total time= 1 minute

additonal cost: fuel = negligible, table rental = negligible, total cost = $0

Return = $1.00 per minute = $60 per hour.

Ebay: sold for $6.50

time spent: research = 15 minutes, boxing/weighing = 3 minutes, listing = 8 minutes, posting/shipping = 4 minutes, delivery conformation = 1 minute, leave feedback = 1 minute. total time = 32 minutes

additional cost: listing fees = $0.30, shipping fees = $0.15, Ebay fees = $0.90, PayPal fees = $0.30, total cost = $1.65

Return = $4.85 per 32 minutes = $9.09 per hour.

Offline alloro

  • *****
  • 2345
    • View Profile
Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2011, 10:08:15 AM »
I couldn't even begin to tell you how many times I went to bed and woke up the next morning a few hundred dollars richer because my stuff sold on eBay without me being there. Try accomplishing that with flea market selling.

You also failed to figure in the time sitting at a flea market between sales. If you sell something for $1 profit and then another an hour later, that's not $60 an hour worth of income.

Offline MovieMan

  • *******
  • 4175
    • View Profile
Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 10:23:31 AM »
Cobia.....

Normally I value your analyisis of a variety of topics pretty highly, but I think you slipped on this one.

Certainly, IF you could sell 1 HotWheel a minute you WOULD be doing $60 an hour, but we all know that won't happen.

I have one of those blue HotWheel cases that holds 48 cars. When asked "how much" I tell them $1 each or I'll sell the whole case for $30.

In one day at the flea I sold 2 cars out of the case (over 8 hours). The next time out I sold 3 cars. Now it's down to 43 cars and the case. When I say everything for $25 I still don't get a bite. They want it all for $10 or so I think (when I ask "what would you like to pay?" they don't come up with an answer....to embarrased to offer their tiny amount I guess).

*****

I still am a big believer in eBay. I buy something (any given specialty item) at the flea or estate sales, etc for $1 to $10 and sell it on eBay for 5 to 10 times that. Fortunately many sellers just don't know what they have or are unwilling to research or just want a quick return. Typically I would not put an item I paid $1 for on ebay for less than  $10, but I get a fair amount of stuff in the $30 area that I list for $90 and up.

I bought a piece of electronics for $10 that will sell for $50 on eBay. At the flea when I try to get even $30 for it they won't go for it 90% of the time.


Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2011, 11:04:03 AM »
Cobia, that's a nice formula for attempting to put a value on your time. As most pickers know, your time is a commodity. It's how you put your time to use, or get the most value for your time, that determines your success.

As others said already, you have to include the time you spend not selling your item. If you could send your items to a flea market without being present, then we could assume your example is true. Which is why selling on sites like Ebay is such a powerful tool for pickers. A store without the overhead.

I know people complain and argue about how they are charged through the roof with this fee or that, but honestly try opening a brick and mortar store.  You get less exposure, higher overhead, are restricted to certain hours, and you have to actually be present also (or pay someone else for their time). 

Figuring out how to make the most money for your time is the real recipe for success, not the item.

Offline MovieMan

  • *******
  • 4175
    • View Profile
Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2011, 11:07:36 AM »
A few more thoughts on eBay vs flea market:

As little as 3 years ago it was not uncommon for sellers at my flea market (selling the kinds of things I sell) to do $600 in an 8 hour day.

Today the more common figure is $200 to $400 for that same 8 hour day.  There are of course exceptions in both directions. One fellow said he did $75 the day I did $250; another fellow that day said he did $450. Of course we have to assume these people are telling the truth.

In the last six months my flea market sales (Saturday only) have ranged from $185 to $450 with the average (not of those two figures) being around $300.  When I see people posting on these threads that they did $75 I have to cringe a bit. I would be very disappointed in any kind of recurring figure at that amount.

At $200 for an eight hour day you're doing $25 an hour; many people would like to get that (though of course this isn't for 5 days a week of work it is for one day. )

When I do $400 for that day, it's $50 an hour (a REAL $50 an hour). Of course there was also time invested in buying the goods, sorting the goods, putting them in the truck, unloading them from the truck, etc, etc, but you have to start your calculating somewhere.


****

Finally, stuff that sells at the flea might not go on eBay and vice versa; that's why I do both. I don't take stuff to auction houses or to specialty stores (antique, boutique, etc) but I do sell (cheaply) to other flea sellers those bulk items I don't want in my flea booth.



Offline MovieMan

  • *******
  • 4175
    • View Profile
Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2011, 11:15:29 AM »


Figuring out how to make the most money for your time is the real recipe for success, not the item.

That says it all.


Offline Cobia

  • ******
  • 1144
    • View Profile
Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2011, 01:37:44 PM »
OK guys, my analysis on the $60 per hour might have been a little theoretical and not real world practical, but the reason I did not include time sitting at the flea market is because I take hundreds of items to the flea market and I am generally selling something every couple to ten minutes, so the time spent at flea market is already sunk. I realize had I only taken that one item and it took all day to sell, I would have had to account for that time.

I did not intend to disregard Ebay as an market for selling, I was just trying to judge the true cost and return on items that sell for say less then $20 on Ebay as to whether it was worth the time and effort.

Movieman, You are spot on about flea market sales, the regulars tell me in our area 5 years ago you could make $500-$750 a day, and now it is about $150-$300 depending on what you have. I have had those $75 days, but I know I was selling mostly bottom end stuff.

Mr. Smith, I think you are right on the money, no pun intended, about making the most from your time and not individual items.

Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2011, 07:45:44 PM »
Ebay I hate for the fees and such but love for the vast # of people on there.  So if can find something unique or high priced it goes on ebay.  The flea I'm still learning the ropes of.  I'm one of those $70-80 after expense people.  I don't make a killing but still find it profitable as my oldest daughter goes with me and does most of the selling.  Now my youngest daughter wants to go and help.  Time I spend with both daughters is more precious to me then the cash.  I'm teaching them negotiations, sales, and buying.  So it's all a plus to me.

Sellers in my area are having mix results.  My low profit is mostly due to my low prices imo.

Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 06:43:21 AM »
Well, Ebay is really the best and the most trusted online store by millions of customers around the world.

______________

small business

Offline money4nothing

  • *****
  • 925
  • I'm hidding
    • View Profile
Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 07:43:48 AM »

  When I see people posting on these threads that they did $75 I have to cringe a bit. I would be very disappointed in any kind of recurring figure at that amount.


We cringe too.  ;D  Being one of the ones making that much. With Craigsl on still learning the ropes and we are selling low end stuff. As I said you get what you take. And what we have been getting in lockers, very low end stuff.  :P

Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 01:08:30 PM »
Of late by ebay sales way surpassed my flea sells.  Of course I've only been to the flea once so far this year due to time/weather.  Ebay you can sell on year round in any weather as long as you can ship items.

I'm slowly improving on my flea sells.  I don't know if it's different people, better stuff, or what.  Still trying to get a handle on what all to take.  Some of my tools, nice Gerber camping axe, and other items sold well my only trip so far.  The cds / dvds that normally move sat on the table all day.  My world coins were the best sellers count wise but most of them are only $.25 - $1 per coin.

The only reason I can afford $75-$100 days at the flea is most of my lockers I get are in the $25 - $150 range.  If I can ever get cloths to move and some of my specialty stuff I'll be great.

I've finally recovered from my $800+ locker mistake and with January ebay sells, CL sells, and flea market revenue I'm currently back in the black by a few $100 (not counting items kept).

Offline Alias

  • ***
  • 200
    • View Profile
Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2012, 08:50:31 PM »
All valid points.
All I was thinking is that if you don't do even a quick google search you might be selling an expensive hotwheels for $1......

Only reason this hit me was because my co-worker is a hotwheels guy. Waiting outside retail stores in morn when he knows a shipment is in. Pays the stockroom guys to call him when certain ones are in. I couldn't believe how much he makes on the weekend with those things .

Back on point.....
I don't really count research time in. I just do it at down times at work or while I'm laying in bed watching tv. Basically when I wouldn't be doing anything else anyway. So if I find something is worthless I didn't really waste my time. At most I missed out on the last half of an old MASH episode. :)

Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 12:00:39 AM »
My domestic accomplice, a clutter-hating proponent of financial responsibility, says: ''Save the box. We're going to have to live in it someday.''

But I can't stop, even if I may soon need a warehouse. No pastime gives me greater pleasure than giving a good home to a vintage sweater that was sitting in someone's basement that sells on the flea market.  I say old school is still the best. I get my success with the fulfillment of what I have worked on and loved the most doing that is looking for items that makes my customers happy.


Re: Ebay vs. Flea Market
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 09:33:26 AM »
Auctions, love the box comment  ;D  although sometimes I think that's true for all of us at some point.  I sometimes get frustrated at all the crap I have and all the work left to do. But once I get through it and get it gone, its a good feeling. 

From what I see at our local flea markets, I would rather hang on to stuff for a garage sale. 


xx
Local antique market sponsered a free parking lot flea market

Started by Ironman

3 Replies
2831 Views
Last post April 06, 2011, 07:34:17 AM
by Ironman
xx
How often do you sell at a flea market?

Started by MovieMan

5 Replies
3685 Views
Last post June 27, 2013, 07:46:00 PM
by HomeGrownPromos
xx
First flea market of the season

Started by parksleyman

7 Replies
3081 Views
Last post April 15, 2013, 01:28:41 PM
by HomeGrownPromos
xx
Flea market prices

Started by Todd Hamilton

15 Replies
4737 Views
Last post January 23, 2012, 03:25:34 PM
by money4nothing